Philippines: Ayala’s AC Energy invests $30m in Australian power JV

Photo from AC Energy's website.

Philippine-listed conglomerate Ayala Corporation is entering Australia’s renewable market by investing $30 million in a joint venture with global renewable energy developer UPC Renewables, according to a disclosure on Wednesday.

Ayala Corporation will own 50 per cent of UPC Renewables Australia through its wholly owned subsidiary AC Energy. Aside from the $30-million investment, AC Energy is also providing a $200-million facility to fund project equity.

According to a disclosure on the Philippine Stock Exchange, UPC Renewables Australia is developing the 1,000-MW Robbins Island and Jims Plain projects in North West Tasmania and the 600-MW New England Solar Farm located near Uralla in New South Wales.

It also has a further development portfolio of another 3,000 MW located in NSW, Tasmania, and Victoria.

The Robbins Island project itself is a very large site and together with Jim’s Plains have some of the best proven wind resources in the world, according to AC Energy president and CEO Eric T. Francia. The New England solar project also has excellent solar resource within close proximity to transmission, he added.

AC Energy, the energy platform of Ayala Corporation, hopes to exceed 5,000 MW of attributable capacity and generate at least 50 per cent of energy from renewables by 2025.

UPC Renewables Australia CEO Anton Rohner said AC Energy’s investment will enable the company to accelerate projects in Australia.

“We are making progress on the Robbins Island and Jims Plain project in North West Tasmania and we endorse the Prime Minister’s recent comment about how wind and hydro are highly complementary,” Rohner said.

UPC Renewables Group has more than 20 years of global experience, with wind and solar projects in the US, Indonesia, India, Italy, Mongolia, and the Philippines. It has developed more than 3,500-MW of operating wind and solar projects with an investment value of over $5 billion.

AC Energy earlier announced plans to sell as much as 50 per cent of its thermal or coal energy assets to raise up to $1 billion that will finance its regional expansion plans.

Recently, it agreed to invest in Vietnam’s solar power industry through a partnership with Vietnam-headquartered BIM Group. The partnership will develop over 300 megawatts of solar power projecs in Ninh Thuan province.

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